Let me start this off by saying that parenting is hard. Its the hardest thing you will ever do in your life, its the most challenging, rewarding, humbling, frightful experience that I personally have gone through. So i will say kudos to all you parents out there. I feel every sleep deprived, incoherent ranting and waving the white flag moments with you. But this post is for a group near and dear to my heart. The single parent. I obviously relate but i wanted this to be my love letter to you because we all need to know we are not alone so here it goes:
Dear Single Parent,
I see you. I hear your cries, your sighs and exhaustion. I feel your laughter and joy when you get your hugs from your littles. I feel that ache in your bones when you are sick but have to help with a science project or make it to work because bills have to be paid. I hear the tug of heart strings when you have to figure out if you can sneak away for a play or awards ceremony or tell your boss for the 5th time this month that your kid is in the nurses office. I know too well the overwhelming sinking feeling when at 3 a.m the thermometer keeps creeping up and your kid looks at you with sunken eyes as some form of the bubonic plague has no doubt crept in. I feel the simplicity of every drop of water rolling down your back in the shower as you take a few minutes to yourself only to be interrupted by excited cries or screams for help as soap temporarily blinds you and your child MUST HAVE THIS RIGHT NOW moments. I sit in zombie like solidarity after watching the same cartoon over and over again- and again when you realize your child is asleep and your still watching the kids channel. I feel your angst when you would like to go to a fancy restaurant and eat food that does not have to be dipped or coated or specifically designed for the wee one’s palate. I’m with you at that moment when your child asks you what you want for Christmas or your birthday and you have no answer because you haven’t thought of yourself in ages. I’m with you as you stare at that gym membership that you swore you would use but instead you are neck deep in math homework and too exhausted to think. I feel the soul crush you have that after you put your all into these little souls and they look at you and say that the other parent would do it differently and you know that they are absent parents in real life but to your children they are gods. I feel the tug of loneliness right with you when you see families doing activities together and you long for the same. For your sweet one to have a complete family. I’m with you as your hair grays and you worry that you are providing enough and praying that your child comes out of this unscathed. I’m with you when you stare at that paycheck and wonder how you’re going to make it two more weeks and pray that no one gets sick or that nothing breaks down. You are not alone.
I’m also with you celebrating when that tooth falls out and they run to you with their new found bounty that you tucked carefully under the pillow a few minutes before they woke up because you forgot. I’m shouting right alongside you when they scored that touchdown or did that perfect back flip or spelled the word perfectly! I’m well aware that your voice is the loudest in the room as you see more than the award, as you celebrate the accomplishments of many nights spent preparing or driving to practices for this one small moment of victory. It is your moment too. I understand that your tired at 3 am and they come piling into your bed to sleep because they need to be close to you and you may be a little cranky but still welcome the evening of little sleep, feet in your face and blankets hogged. I’m secretly happy that you have a hoarding situation going on because you get to keep all the artwork ever created by your mini Picasso.
While some days are tough we really at times are the lucky ones. We get the first morning hugs and kisses, the toothless grins, the first to comfort a scraped knee or a broken heart from a first crush. We get the half eaten candy necklaces intended as a gift for our special day. We get to see the temper tantrums and fits that mold our spirited children into the strong, independent men and women they will become. We get to have the inside jokes, the memories triggered by songs and smells that we personally witnessed. We get to celebrate the little moments.The perfectly stacked Lego’s, the first wobbly bike ride, the sticky high fives. We have the joy of the bath-time battle and the put on your coat battle and the leave the dog alone battle.
And even though it seems tough, we must remember we are warriors. We are strong, resilient and chosen by these little souls to get them through this adventure called life and you are doing a marvelous job. I know we often get caught up in the weight of it all and often we don’t hear praises. So hopefully this will help you today and know that in this amazing journey you are not alone.
So much love,